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Book Reviews (1)
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By Patricia M , Aug 15, 2021
The first fifty or so pages of this novel are tantalizing and gripping, but then the plot veers sharply into a weird universe. The sci-fi angle, which is mildly intriguing, is juxtaposed with a story of an exhausted and indulgent mother of an infant and an unruly four-year-old, but the motherhood angle just wore me out. Breastfeeding considerations occupy way too many pages, and the toddler is old enough for a healthy dose of behavioral consequences which the mother, Molly, is too pooped to dish out. Molly also works as a paleobotanist and is excavating a pit near a Phillips 66 station that has been converted into a headquarters for her and her coworkers. This pit has yielded some inexplicable finds, including a Bible in which all pronouns referencing God are female. Religious zealots become incensed and obsessed with the Bible, and I would have preferred more focus on that artifact, along with the ramifications of its discovery, and less focus on toddler tantrums. Molly is patient to a fault, both with her kids and with the other main character, about whom I don’t want to reveal too much. I get it that managing two small children leaves no time for much of anything else, but the ad nauseam drudgery of Molly’s life as a parent pretty much nullifies the very promising opening of this novel. The book is a little spooky throughout, in a mind-bending, Stephen King sort of way. The plot loses its sense of urgency early on, but I have to say that I still wanted to know how the author was going to resolve its central conflict. I actually liked the ending—but not nearly as much as the beginning.
Recommended to buy: Yes